The Road to Oxiana
Date: March 2019
Duration: 11 hours 47 minutes
In 1933, Robert Byron set off from Venice with his friend Christopher Sykes to explore the architecture of the Middle East. Their long and arduous journey took them from Cyprus and Jerusalem to Syria, Iraq, Persia and Afghanistan, and finally Oxiana, a tiny country around the River Oxus, the Greek name for the river Amu Darya, which snakes down from Russia into Afghanistan. They travel by any means necessary (truck, camel, horses and foot), and encounter several setbacks, but their risks are rewarded as they encounter some of the greatest examples of Eastern art and architecture, many of which have now vanished forever. Funny and erudite, The Road to Oxiana's combination of exquisite lyricism, detail and humour gave birth to a new kind of travel literature, serving as inspiration for later writers such as Bruce Chatwin, Peter Matthiesson and Jan Morris.
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